The Original Meaning of Marriage [Podcast]

Today’s Creating Real Marriages that Last podcast is an excerpt from a sermon I preached in 2010 about God’s original plan for marriage. These days people study all the keys to having a good marriage, but at times they’ve missed the forest for the trees. We’ve become so consumed with the “how” of a good marriage, that we’ve missed the “why” of marriage. So, in this sermon I talk about God’s intention for marriage, based on Genesis 2.


No One Can Live On a Pedestal

Whenever people ask me what I want to be called, I usually answer, “Mike is fine.” For some reason, a lot of people think I should go by more formal titles such as Dr. Glenn, Reverend Glenn, or Pastor Glenn. I have always been uncomfortable with titles. They put too many barriers between me and other people. Besides, Jesus was blunt on this one. We are to call no man father or teacher, for we have one Father and one Teacher.

No One Can Live On a Pedestal

We can be friends to each other. We can be brothers and sisters to each other, but we cannot be Jesus to each other. That role has been taken.

And we can’t be Jesus to our spouses either. Often, when you come from a broken place, the person you fall in love with can do no wrong. Your spouse is the best person in the whole world. They are way beyond anyone you ever expected to fall in love with, or even more miraculous, to have fall in love with you. They are perfect…everything they say…everything they do…

You worship the ground they walk on. You have placed them high on a pedestal.

And that’s a problem.

Your spouse can’t be Jesus to you. Your husband or wife can only be who they are. You can only be who you are. Trying to constantly live up to someone else’s unreasonable expectations quickly leads to defeat and despair. You’re not being fair to your spouse by putting this kind of pressure on them. Eventually they will stumble, and they will end up feeling like a failure.

And you can’t be Jesus to them. While it’s a rush to your ego to be put on that pedestal, the landing is brutally painful when you fall off (and you will). Besides, your husband or wife doesn’t need you to be everything to them. Becoming hyper-focused on you keeps them from growing, and it smothers you in the process.

The old preachers had a point. Eve wasn’t created from Adam’s head that she should rule over him or from his foot that he should stand on her. She was created from his side that she should stand with him.
That’s the picture we want, isn’t it? The two of you, side by side, walking wherever life may take you—content to be who you are, with and for each other

Borrowed Confidence

When you get married, you find out a lot of things no one told you about—and most of them are good.


Here’s one you may not have thought about before. When you get married, you find yourself more creative, and yes, even braver. That’s because you’ll engage the day with the confidence of two people, not just one.

There will be times when you’ll lose all of your confidence as you face a challenge. You’ll look up and think, “This mountain is too high to climb. I just can’t make it.” Then, in the back of your mind, you’ll hear your wife or husband saying, “Go ahead. Try. I believe you can.”

So, when you have no confidence of your own but borrow the confidence your spouse has in you, you try one more time. And surprise! That one last try will bring success. In fact, you’ll be left wondering how many other things you could have done if you hadn’t given up so early.

Life is hard, and it seems the challenges get tougher every day. We are so afraid of failing that we never actually try. Ironic, isn’t it? Our fear of failure actually guarantees failure. But when our spouses believe in us, we’ll find confidence we’ve never had to keep trying. And when we keep trying, we’ll find more and more success.

So what does this mean?

1. Tell your spouse you believe in them. Tell them this a lot. The world beats them up every day, and whatever confidence they had in the morning has leaked out by the time they get home.

2. Give them concrete examples of their success or qualities. Say something like, “I believe you can do this because of how you did that.”

3. Remind them that failure is rarely fatal.

4. And lastly, as Jeannie once told me, “What’s the worst thing that could happen? You try and fail. Then, you come home to me, and I’ll still love you. Now, that’s not so bad, is it?”

No, it’s not. That’s not bad at all.

Millennial Parents [Podcast]

Today on Creating Real Marriages that Last, Darrel and I talk about Millennial parents. Studies tell us that many Millennials are choosing to wait to have children after they are married. This generation knows what was missing in their own lives and now crave stability more than anything. They’re rejecting what they saw in their families. So, they are prioritizing their marriage and children. For the Millennial, there is no sense of permanence in the world. That’s why many of them are choosing to make the home a safe, stable, healthy place. Some are even choosing to work from home so they can enjoy their families even more. They want their work to have meaning, and they also want their marriage to have meaning.